Polyethylene / Mylar

    • Anonymous
      March 9, 2013 at 9:10 am

      I am new to the forum and the entire CIDP dilemma. My 28 yr old son has been recently diagnosed with the disease and went downhill very quickly, not being able to walk or hold anything, and has lost a good amount of weight. Currently on IVIg treatment, after two weeks of steroids and phys. therapy.

      He has been working with Polyethylene and Mylar for close to 12 years now. He is in contact with vapor and dust of the two products on a daily basis. I lean towards the possibility these products and his daily contact with them to be a possible/probable cause of the onset of his condition. Has there been any link between the disease and these products, or has anyone in this forum, and suffers from CIDP had repeated contact with these products?


    • March 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm


      I am sorry that your son has acquired CIDP. I hope his IVIg treatments will bring him back to normal function.

      There are no studies that I know of linking CIDP to chemical exposure. Is it possible that these chemicals caused CIDP? Perhaps; he may be unusually sensitive to them and the sensitivity expressed itself as CIDP. Proving it, however, would be much harder. There just aren’t enough of us (a good thing, really) to allow for the appropriate statistical analysis. There are between 3,300 and 30,000 people in the USA with CIDP; the number depends on which prevalence study you believe. There are about 750,000 people in plastic products manufacturing and another 750,000 in the chemical manufacturing sector. That means between 14 and 130 people who work in those areas likely would have developed the disease anyway. It would take a larger sample, I think (I am not an epidemiologist, so I don’t know how much larger) to establish a statistically valid measure.


    • GH
      March 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      MarkEns is correct in noting that some number of cases of CIDP would be expected among those persons exposed to these materials even if there were no causal relationship. The same is true for any substance.
      There is no reason to believe that the CIDP was caused by chemical exposure. Acquired autoimmune diseases are thought to be triggered by infections which mimic parts of the nervous system, so that the antibodies produced attack the nerves as well as the infection. Most cases of CIDP are ideopathic because the infection need not produce clinical symptoms in order to cause an immune response. There may be other things which make a person more susceptible to CIDP than most, but these are not well understood.
      It is best to concentrate on treatment and recovery and not worry about the possible cause, in my opinion. The cause cannot be known, and if it were known it would not change the treatment plan.